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Labour housing supremo moves to new role - replacement named

Labour’s long-standing housing spokesman, John Healey, has been moved to become shadow defence secretary on the front bench of new leader Sir Keir Starmer.

Healey - a veteran campaigner for social housing and housing minister for a brief period back in the days of Tony Blair’s premiership - was widely regarded as a moderate, despite serving under Jeremy Corbyn for four years.

Within months of first being appointed as shadow housing minister by Corbyn, Healey resigned as part of a widespread protest by senior MPs urging the leader to quit. 


He resumed his post and, in recent months, took an aggressive approach to the private rental sector in particular - he advocated at least some forms of rent controls and wanted greater regulations on agents and landlords.

His successor as party housing spokesman and shadow housing minister is Thangam Debbonaire, a Bristol MP first elected to the Commons in 2015.

She says of her new post: “Even before the current crisis, there were huge problems to solve. We have a chronic shortage of housing, including social housing and affordable homes. Homelessness has spiralled upwards in the last decade of Tory governments. And we urgently need to make homes more energy efficient and incorporate renewable energy technologies as we tackle climate change as well as Covid-19.”



  • Andrew Stanton PROPTECH-PR A Consultancy for Proptech Founders

    Thangham Debboinaire new Shadow secretary for state for housing, you have three minutes on your selected topic housing.

    Question one – do you have any industry experience in the housing or real estate sector.
    Question two – does this lack of knowledge help or impede you keeping the government to account, or will you take advice from ‘those in the know.’
    Question three – what exactly is Labour’s position on housing – apart from the usual rhetoric that there is not enough housing and the poor are the worst off?

    Lastly, you have been quoted as saying that you support ‘unfettered capitalism’ is that some sort of chutney preserve? And after three minutes you have scored … well it does make me wonder if there are somewhere on the Labour benches more suited individuals, but then maybe not.


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